CityAirbus is an all-electric, four-seat, multicopter vehicle demonstrator that focused on advancing remotely piloted electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) flight. The CityAirbus full-scale demonstrator conducted its last take-off in July 2021.
Rethinking traditional aircraft architecture
The CityAirbus demonstrator was designed by rethinking traditional aircraft architecture. Featuring an eight-pitch rotor configuration using electric motors, the full-scale vehicle demonstrated the advantages of a multicopter design. It provided valuable data on the technologies that are helping us pave the way toward zero-emission urban mobility flights.
The aircraft’s aerodynamic configuration was proven in over 242 flight and ground tests. In July 2021, it achieved the world’s highest take-off weight for a multicopter at 2,312kg.
The CityAirbus demonstrator was instrumental in helping us to explore full electrification for vertical flight. It was one of the first critical stepping stones towards developing our new eVTOL prototype, CityAirbus NextGen.
On the way towards increased safety and autonomy
The configuration of the CityAirbus demonstrator was also imagined to explore autonomous flight in full compliance with the highest safety levels. Thanks to its Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) system that makes for a redundant aircraft architecture, the full-scale demonstrator relied on multiple rotors in flight, as well as during take-off and landing. This approach contributed to maintaining safe operations across all phases.
Designed to be piloted remotely, CityAirbus was a test bed for multiple autonomous technologies. Building on Airbus’ research on automated Air Traffic Management (ATM) and the Vertex project, the demonstrator’s automatic take-off and landing, as well as its stabilisation capabilities, were successfully tested over the course of a multi-year campaign that was closed in the summer of 2021.